Monday, January 17

FOOD: My Plan for 2011

Now that the new year is here, I want to share with you my plan to restock our food supply in our home. Many of you followed my blog through the 9 1/2 months of my husband's unemployment last year. Now that we are employed again, we're focused on building up our 3 month supply of readily available foods. We will also be adding to our year's supply of dried foods and necessities.

When building your supply, don't forget about non-food items. As far as non-food items are concerned, coupons really stretch the budget! There are many items I don't pay for anymore: body wash, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deoderant, razors, lip & face products, cosmetics, dishwasher detergent, and hair products.

As much as I would like to say that I get all my food for FREE, that's just not reality. With some planning, you can still save big at the grocery checkout line. This is my 5-step plan to get the best deals possible in 2011:

1. Coupons
If there is a coupon available for foods our family eats, it will most likely be used in the regular grocery store. I've also become a big fan of Aldi- 99 cents for milk and 49 cents for eggs!

Most of the coupon deals I pick up for my family are the ones posted here on my blog. (You are what you type...!?) I also try to pick up healthy snacks for my kid's lunches when I have coupon overages or catalinas at the drugstores. They often have marked down specials, because grocery items at the drugstore don't move quickly.

2. Bountiful Baskets
The picture at the top of this post was my Bountiful Baskets foods from about a week ago. I paid $16.50 for all that food! It's definitely worth the price (and the small drive) for fresh produce, something that coupons usually don't pay for. Each produce basket ordered is $15.00 along with a $1.50 handling fee.

Sign up for Bountiful Baskets is every Monday and Tuesday. In Texas, where I live, Bountiful Baskets pick up is every two weeks. Check the Bountiful Baskets site for your pick up time and location. (Hint: If your state is listed under 'Locations' but is not listed under the 'Participate Now' page, it means sign up and pick up will be the following week.)

Also, if there is no Bountiful Baskets pick up locations in your area, read about how to start one. Bountiful Baskets is 100% volunteer run, so you could be just that- a volunteer that guarantees fresh and inexpensive produce for families like yours!

3. Zaycon Foods
Another item that coupons usually do not pay for is meat.
Zaycon Foods delivers truckloads of fresh meat products to several locations in the U.S. They are able to get low prices on their meats when there is a large group of buyers.

This month's item for
Zaycon Foods in my area is boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.49/lb.! The meats are organic, so it's an amazing deal for high quality meats. Zaycon should be working on a hamburger shipment set up for the next run, so stay tuned!

Zaycon Foods website is easy to use- orders may be reserved and paid for online. Again, if you do not see Zaycon Foods coming to your area, contact them through their website to discuss interest your area. If there are enough people that want to buy their products, they will be there! The more they hear from you and your friends, the better- let them know!

*Reminder: If you ordered a box (or two) of chicken, be sure to pay for it by this Friday, Jan. 21. Pick up is on Jan. 29 and the time varies by location.

4. Shelf Reliance
I attended a Shelf Reliance demonstration recently, and I was very impressed with the quality and variety of the foods available. Many Shelf Reliance #10 cans will be added to my food storage this year! The freeze dried fruits are very tasty- you can get a home demonstration to try these out for yourself! Shelf Reliance Foods are also available at Costco.

My friend, Julie Sivley, has a blog all about Shelf Reliance Foods. Check her We Strive to Thrive blog for more information. She would be happy to give you more information about Shelf Reliance foods- no matter where you live!

My first order is going to contain powdered sour cream and powdered tomato. I was so excited to find out that these products exist! These will be extremely handy to us when you're running low on everyday items: sour cream, ketchup, tomato sauce, etc. I also use many powdered items in my cooking, so these will go on the ingredients list for many recipes.

5. Homemade Foods
As always, I'll make homemade foods whenever I can. This is, of course, the least expensive way to go when trying to cut costs on groceries. I still have a big supply of basics: sugar, flour, powdered milk, etc. and I will continue to add to the basics as the year progresses.

It's not always to easiest or the most convenient, but I consider the work I do at home to save and conserve is my way to get paid as a stay at home mom!

We recently tried making homemade tortillas- yum! I'm still working on my technique (they're not very pretty.... that's why I haven't posted the recipe here yet), but they are super tasty!

I have many recipes posted, check them out and try a new homemade recipe at your house!

What's your food plan for 2011? I'd love to hear more about it, please leave a comment and share with all of us!


Jen Nelson said...

Fantastic plan!! I can't wait to see your recipe for tortillas!!

My plan - is mainly to eat healthier! I need to stock our food storage and be better about planning meals! Ooh and I want to plant a garden AND take care of it! lol maybe I can try canning this year? Scary thought!

Paige said...

We were just talking about making homemade tortillas just the other day. We go through a ton of tortillas at our house. I'd love your recipe, even if it is minus the picture. Sounds yummy!

Heather said...

Wow, Jen- you're ambitious! I was going to mention a garden, but it's a whole new ball game here in Texas. I'm thinking the bugs would outnumber my vegetables! I love canning- I canned tons of tomatoes in the fall!
Sounds like I need to post the tortilla recipe soon- I will, they are so good!

Ryans said...

Oh, if you have any tips on how to keep them soft longer than a few minutes, that would be awesome. Mine always get crispy within a few minutes of cooling so I have to use them REALLY fast.

Heather said...

I think the tendency with tortillas is to overcook them. (At least that's what I did at first.) If I cook them just until done, they are definitely softer. Maybe you could also try keeping them warm in the oven until served? This has made me think of how to make these even better.
Recipe and pictures will be coming soon!